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BMC Public Health

, 15:411

Chronic Disease epidemiology


BackgroundAlthough African immigrants represent a large and growing segment of the U.S. population, there are little or no data available on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease CVD risk factors among this diverse population. This study compared the prevalence of self-reported CVD risk factors and health behaviors and examined the associations between immigration related characteristics and CVD risk factors and health behaviors across six African immigrants groups.

MethodsData were from 996 African immigrants in the U.S., 37.9% Somalis; 26.8% Ethiopians; 14% Liberians; 8.5% Sudanese; 5.1% Kenyans and 7.8% others group from a cross-sectional survey conducted in the Twin cities of Minnesota. Logistic regression models estimated the associations of demographic characteristics, and immigration-related factors length of stay in the United states, English proficiency, income and health insurance with prevalence of CVD risk factors overweight-obese; hypertension and diabetes mellitus and self-reported health behaviors cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, conscious effort to exercise and eating a healthy diet.

ResultsWe found a relatively low self-reported prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and smoking. However, significant differences were noted by country of origin. Using Somalis as our referent country of origin group, we found that Liberians and Kenyans were more likely to report having diabetes or hypertension. On all measures of health behaviors, Liberians were more likely to engage in more health protective behaviors than other individuals.

ConclusionsAlthough African immigrants have different prevalence rates for CVD risk factors and health behaviors, there is a need to further explore the differences observed by country of emigration.

KeywordsImmigrant African Cardiovascular Risk factors Barrett Sewali, Nonyelum Harcourt, Susan A Everson-Rose, Robert E Leduc, Sirad Osman, Michele L Allen and Kolawole S Okuyemi are contributed equally to this work.

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